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November 9, 2017
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wasps - summer pests

It’s well and truly wasp season in Hampshire.

We work outside 90% of the time so we love good weather, which means we love this time of year. But with the sunshine, come the insects: mosquitos, flies, wasps, there’s nothing worse than a BBQ blighted by Summertime pests.

But while it’s easy to group everything that stings into the same category, it’s important to know the difference between a bee and a wasp. Why? Well because one is a pollinator and the other is a predator. In other words, the presence of bees simply means there are some flowers worth pollinating, whereas wasps in the area could indicate that there might be a nest nearby – and that’s a big problem.

So what’s the difference between a bee and a wasp?

Bees vs Wasps in Hampshire
Physically distinguishing wasps from bees sometimes takes a second glance, especially with honeybees. The general rule is that bees are hairy and rounder, whereas wasp are smoother and longer.
Another important distinction is that bees are fairly passive and tend not to sting, as most will die after they do. Wasps on the other hand are far more aggressive and won’t hesitate to sting multiple times in quick succession.
Did you also know that while bees also feed their larvae on pollen, wasps feed theirs with meat? It really is as horrible as it sounds. Wasps will leave tranquillised, but not dead, insects in their nests for the larvae to eat alive. We realise this post sounds very bias towards bees, and it is! Because bees are pretty important –

“Bees pollinate a third of everything we eat and play a vital role in sustaining the planet’s ecosystems. Some 84% of the crops grown for human consumption – around 400 different types of plants – need bees and other insects to pollinate them to increase their yields and quality.” – The Guardian

While wasps do play their own part in pollination, they tend to form far larger and more disruptive nests than bees. A wasp nest, especially in public spaces like schools or shopping centres, is a recipe for disaster. Wasps are naturally more aggressively territorial than bees and will sting without hesitation if they feel threatened.

How can I tell if there’s a wasp nest nearby?

This time of year wasp nests tend to be easier to identify, there should be a fairly consistent stream of wasps trailing back and forth to the entrance; this makes locating a nest on your property the simple part!

If you are being constantly harassed by wasps in your garden, it could also either be indicative of a nest, or that you have a sweet food source nearby. If you suspect you might have a nest nearby, take care when you’re eating al fresco in your garden this Summer, wasps tend to swarm feed – and it really is as scary as it sounds – as one foraging wasp can soon turn into hundreds!

The best thing to do if you suspect you have a wasp nest on your property is to get in touch with us! Don’t try and tackle the nest yourself, especially at this time of year; the wasps defending the nest will become incredibly aggressive with hatching larvae inside.

The simple difference between bees and wasps is that one is a helpful pollinator who’s pretty invaluable to us, the other? Well, the fact that they’re one of our most requested Pest Control services says it all…